- MD, West Virginia University, 1985
About Clay Marsh
A national leader in academic and personalized medicine and in pulmonary and critical care, Dr. Clay Marsh has concentrated his efforts in determining how to help individuals stay healthy and how to create ecosystems to make this easier.
As West Virginia University’s chief health officer, Marsh is focused on finding statewide solutions for health and wellbeing, while addressing the most vexing health challenges in West Virginia and throughout the world.
Marsh not only shapes the direction of the University’s five health professions schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health and its statewide allied health programs and clinical operations, he also serves as the state’s lead representative and spokesperson, both nationally and internationally, in the areas of health, health education and academic medicine. He co-leads WVU Medicine, West Virginia's largest healthcare enterprise and largest employer.
Marsh has been instrumental in the effort to recruit close to 1,000 new physicians to WVU since his arrival. Under his leadership, WVU has expanded services in five signature programs that include the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Institute, WVU Medicine Children’s and the WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute and has forged relationships to create new and innovative partnerships such as The Purpose Institute, WVU Substance Misuse Task Force, Healthy Harrison and the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management.
In response to the challenges of COVID-19, Marsh was appointed “COVID-19 czar” by Gov. Jim Justice in March 2020. In this role, Marsh coordinates the state’s response to COVID-19 by collaborating with federal, state and local agencies, health officials, researchers and other agencies aiding in the effort. In addition, Marsh also advocates for the personal responsibilities of West Virginia’s citizens to help lower the spread of infection of COVID-19 across the state.
A proud West Virginian, Marsh grew up near the state’s capital of Charleston as the son of a distinguished newspaper editor. He is a two-time graduate of West Virginia University, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1981 and a medical degree in 1985. At Ohio State University, Marsh served as director of the Critical Care Institute; vice dean of research and innovation at the Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine; and led the nationally recognized program in personalized medicine.
Marsh was a faculty member and administrator at Ohio State University from 1993 until his appointment at West Virginia University in 2015, where he held a wide range of teaching, clinical, research and administrative roles at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. While serving as senior associate vice president and chief innovation officer, he established OSU’s IDEA Studio in Healthcare and Design.
Marsh’s research has focused on defining the underlying mechanisms that determine health and disease. His research interests include the molecular regulation of longevity and epigenetic controls of aging. He holds more than 20 patents or patent disclosures. He has mentored more than 50 MD, MD/PhD and PhD doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty, and won a number of Ohio State teaching awards. He has been responsible for more than $20 million in National Institutes of Health funding as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, co-investigator, and mentor, and has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
He has served on national scientific advisory committees for organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Thoracic Society, the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of Caris Life Sciences. He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Marsh’s family includes his wife Gail Marsh, a former healthcare administrator, and the couple’s three children: Rachel (husband Caid); Cameron; Matthew; and their two dogs Eva and Max. Marsh enjoys reading, writing, walking and meditating.